Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier undergoes MRI exam on sore lower back

Andre Ethier underwent an MRI exam on his balky lower back on Monday morning, which invited the specter of serious injury into a Dodgers spring that has otherwise been free of such ailments.

Manager Dave Roberts indicated the results of the examination would not be announced until Tuesday. Ethier will receive three or four days off to rest, regardless of the diagnosis. Before he underwent the test, Ethier indicated he was not particularly concerned with his condition.

“I’m walking. I’m moving,” Ethier said. “We’re just trying to get our hands around what can make it comfortable for consecutive days, rather than one, two, three days in a row.”

Ethier was not the only Dodgers outfielder on the mend Monday. The team scratched Yasiel Puig from a game against Cleveland because of tightness in his left calf. The injury occurred while Puig was stealing a base Sunday, and the discomfort lingered a day later.

“He went through the [workout] and just said there was a little something there,” Roberts said. “So I just took him out of the lineup.”

Puig could play on Thursday. Ethier might not.

Ethier has been sidelined because of soreness in his back and his hip for most of the spring. He took an at-bat as a pinch-hitter on Friday and produced two hits while playing the outfield Saturday. On Sunday, his back could not loosen up before the game.

“It’s spring training. If it was the season, I would probably be playing through it and finding a way to get going,” Ethier said. “But right now, it’s not that time of year to be doing that.”

Ethier understands the perils of spring. He suffered a fractured leg on a foul ball last March and missed almost the entire season. Given Ethier’s travails in 2016 and his utility in 2017, Roberts acknowledged the significance of a potential injury to his left fielder.

“For us, it would be devastating, [and] for him,” Roberts said. “We’ll hold our breath and think for the best.”

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